RFU National League One: Cinderford 40 Birmingham & Solihull 0
When Russell Earnshaw sits down to write his Christmas list, an injury-free squad is surely going to be at the top.
The Bees’ director of rugby tried to inspire those around him as they struggled in the Forest of Dean mud but their youth and inexperience combined to ensure they failed to make their mark against a Cinderford side who had welcomed World Cup winner Phil Vickery to their coaching set-up ahead of the game.
There were glimpses from the visitors at the start of each half and particularly when returning Bee Mark Woodrow took over at scrum-half in the second period.
But the score highlights just how Earnshaw’s men will have to raise their game if they are to escape the drop.
Wingers Nev Codlin and Lloyd Stapleton crossed for Cinderford in the first half, along with prop Yann Thomas. A brace of conversions handed the home side a 19-0 interval lead.
Jack Pons almost sneaked in at the corner at the start of the second half but normal service was soon resumed as the Gloucestershire side took control.
Stapleton gathered Rory Teague’s crossfield kick for a try that mirrored his first before back-row Dave McKee and replacement Rob Winchle completed the rout, Teague adding the extras each time.
There was almost a consolation try for the Bees in the final minute when an excellent shove from the pack saw them win one against the head.
Woodrow booted ahead but just lost out to Cinderford full-back Michael Wilcox in the race to the line.
CINDERFORD: Wilcox, Codlin, James, Scourfield (Winchle, 70), Codlin, Teague, Pointon (Draper, 70); Smart, Bozzard (Wilkes, 57), Thomas (Heard, 54), West, King, Foden (Kitson, 70), Nicholls, McKee.
BEES: Sadler, Nanci, Lowden, Evans (Ford, 70), Pons, Hawkes, Stajka (Woodrow, 45); Nglua, McMillan, Darkintas (Herriot, 62), Quarrie, Dunne, Farmer (Gregg, 70), Reeves, Earnshaw. Rep: Gale.